Luzerne County stopped sending clients to Clearbrook Treatment Centers for drug and alcohol addiction treatment for two days this week because the nonprofit wasn't complying with a clause in its county contract.
The clause said Clearbrook board members can't also do business with the nonprofit agency, officials said. County officials say Clearbrook officials were unaware of the restriction, and four impacted board members immediately resigned as a result.
It was important to both the county and Clearbrook to resolve this quickly because we didn't want to disrupt the care patients are receiving, said county solicitor Brian Bufalino.
County Manager Robert Lawton said the contract has been resumed now that they've addressed the deficiencies. I'm pleased with Clearbrook's response to the situation once it was brought to their attention, he said.
The clause is not required by regulations and was added after several county drug and alcohol departments in the region came up with a uniform provider agreement, Bufalino said.
The county notified Clearbrook about the temporary halt Wednesday, and the nonprofit provided written confirmation of the board member resignations on Thursday, he said.
The four board members who resigned were attorney Thomas P. Cummings Jr., Helen Lavelle, Dr. Albert Janerich and Dawn Leas, Bufalino said.
County Human Services Director Mary Dysleski said Clearbrook might have missed the clause because it wasn't added to annual contracts until 2010. The agency charges flat daily rates for different types of treatment, and these rates are approved by counties throughout the region, she said.
She was not aware of any other violations by other drug and alcohol agencies contracting with the county.